Revelation 19

Rejoicing over Babylon the Great

In this chapter the threefold woe over Babylon the Great, which was declared by the kings, merchants, and sea captains, will be countered by a threefold hallelujah from heaven.  

After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” Rev. 19:2

And again they shouted: “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.”

Rev. 19:3

The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: “Amen, Hallelujah!” Rev. 19:4

The Battle of Armageddon

Following the threefold hallelujah over the fall of the Great Prostitute, the second half of this chapter re-tells the story of the Battle of Armageddon, which will take place when the armies of the Beast attempt to destroy the Remnant from Israel who will flee to the mountains during the Attack on Jerusalem. The Remnant from Israel will be kept safe from the Beast (the antichrist) during the events of the Great Tribulation, but will become the target of their rage following the judgments that will lead to the Battle of Armageddon. (See Revelation Chapter 8) In this account of the battle, the Lord is described as the Rider on a White Horse who wages war.  

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. Rev. 19:12-13

In these verses, the Rider on the White Horse is distinguished from the rider on the white horse, which we read about in the opening of the Seven Seals, by the many crowns on his head   signifying that He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. (The rider on the white horse of the First Seal had only one crown on his head, signifying his single kingship.) In addition, we are told that the Rider with many crowns has as his name, the Word of God, which identifies this Rider as the Son of God. When the Lord rides into battle, the armies of heaven will follow Him.

The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.  Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords. Rev. 19:14-16

The account of the armies of heaven, who will follow the Lord into battle, is a description of the angels in heaven who engage in heavenly warfare. The picture of the angels being dressed in fine linen is a familiar theme in the Scriptures, where linen represents faithfulness to the Lord. This can be seen in the account of the Seven Angels who will pour out the Seven Last Plagues and who are also described as being dressed in fine linen. 

Out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues. They were dressed in clean, shining linen and wore golden sashes around their chests. Rev. 15:6

In the previous verses, the description of how the Lord will tread the winepress of the wrath of God matches the previous accounts of the Battle of Armageddon, which also described how the enemies of God will be cut down and thrown into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

“Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat,[1] for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side. Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow—so great is their wickedness!”
Joel 3:12-13

The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia. Rev. 14:19-20

When the Lord is described as riding on a horse with a sword coming out of His mouth, it does not mean that He will physically appear on a horse at the battlefield, but is the Scripture’s way of showing us that it will be the Lord who will bring about the Great Earthquake and Severe Hailstorm that will destroy the armies of the Beast.

Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!” Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake.  The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. From the sky huge hailstones, each weighing about a hundred pounds, fell on people. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible. Rev 16:16-21

To the people on earth, the coming of the Lord at the Battle of Armageddon will appear as dark clouds, thunderstorms, and lightning, which will suddenly fill the sky and cause all the peoples on earth to mourn.

“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.” Matt 24:30

Likewise, when the Beast and the kings of the earth are referred to as waging war against the rider on the horse, it is a description of how the Beast will attack the Remnant of Israel   and not Christ Himself.  

Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. Rev. 19:19

Throughout history, the way that nations and individuals have fought against God has been to fight against God’s people, which is what will take place at the Battle of Armageddon.

The Punishment of the Beast

At the conclusion of the Battle of Armageddon, the Beast and the False Prophet will be thrown alive into the Fiery Lake of Burning Sulfur, and the dead bodies of their armies will become food for the birds of the air.

But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh. Rev. 19:20-21

In the Scriptures, to die by fire is a sign of judgment. In the case of the Beast and the False Prophet, when we read that they will be thrown alive into the Lake of Fire, it is a sign of their extreme rebellion against God and their corresponding punishment.

Order of Events of the Last Days

1. Wars, Rumors of Wars, Earthquakes, and Famines (Seals 1-4)
2. The Martyrs Pray for Judgment and Revenge (5th. Seal) – The 144,000 are sealed
     – 1/3 of earth is burned up in world-wide drought (1st. Trumpet)
     – 1/3 of sea turns to blood, Satan’s kingdom defeated (2nd. Trumpet)
     – 1/3 of waters are poisoned, Satan cast out 3rd. Trumpet)
     – 1/3 of Israel is struck, the Attack on Jerusalem (4th. Trumpet)
3. The Great Tribulation
the full number of God’s people are killed
     – The Plague of Locusts (5th. Trumpet)
     – The Plague of Fire, Smoke, and Sulfur (6th. Trumpet)
     – The Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath (Bowls 1 – 5)
    – The kings and generals are gathered at Armageddon (6th Bowl)
4. The Wrath of God is Poured Out – the Battle of Armageddon (6th. Seal, 7th. Trumpet, 7th. Bowl)
5. Silence in Heaven – the enemies of God are defeated (7th. Seal) 
6. The Reign of Christ on Earth

[1] The Valley of Jehoshaphat is today’s Kidron Valley that lies east of Jerusalem. Accordingly, The armies of the Beast will be gathered at Armageddon, which is north and west of Jerusalem, and will advance to the Valley of Jehoshaphat where they will be destroyed by the Great Earthquake and Severe Hailstorm. Thus the Battle of Armageddon will actually take place in the Kidron Valley.

Revelation Chapter 18
Revelation Chapter 20

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